Okay, so there’s this author that I follow who complains on her blog (and probably elsewhere). A. Lot. She’s a self-published author whose books I’ve really enjoyed, but I have to say that her attitude is starting to sour me on the idea of reading her books. I’m not going to name names because my purpose here is not to call out a specific author, but to discuss an issue that’s frustrated me. But here’s the gist of what’s happening …
This author has one book that was a decent success for the self-publishing world. I absolutely LOVED the book, and it inspired me to buy and read ALL of this author’s other books as she’s been releasing them. I think she’s talented and I want to support her. I’m not sure that I ever loved any of the other books quite as much as the first, but I’ve really enjoyed them all.
But, here’s the thing – I’ve seen her write on several occasions that her most popular book is not her favorite at all – she tends to kind of talk down about this book and say that she really prefers her other books. This, in itself isn’t too bad – I mean, surely authors are allowed to have favorite books and their favorites don’t always match up with the most commercially successful titles. But it’s just that her tone has seemed to get more and more sour as time has gone on. At first I shrugged it off, but her last couple of posts have pushed me to the brink of not really even wanting to read her books anymore …
She just released a second book (or actually a novella) in the popular series – and then she wrote a blog post all about how much she HATED writing it. She couldn’t connect with the main character and just all around felt tortured about the whole process. She said she was SO glad to be done with the book because she hated it so much. Ooookay.
Still, I was willing to put it aside. Then today (well, today as of the day I’m writing this post) she posted another blog post. This one was all about how said novella didn’t sell as well as she wanted it to and how mad she was. She essentially said that she really only wrote it in the first place to get fans of the first book off her back and so that she could make money so that she could write the books she really likes, and now that it wasn’t making her the money she was expecting she’s sorry that she ever wrote it at all. It’s a huge rant about how awful the experience was, and how from now on she’s just going to write whatever she wants and forget about the fans, and her dream of becoming a full time writer is over … etc., etc. By the time I was done, I couldn’t help but think she sounded horribly nasty and ungrateful, and I found myself wondering if I really even want to continue buying her books at all. After all, my love of her first book had, apparently, ruined her life.
Now, I totally understand that being a self-published author can be frustrating. I know that it’s a steep and rocky road with lots of pitfalls and that sometimes the disappointment of not selling as well as you wish must be overwhelming. But I couldn’t help but think that this author would be WAY better off venting to her friends and family and leaving her fans out of it. And instead of whining about her negligible sales, she could work on really promoting her book – in a positive way. After all, when you release a book and then immediately blog about how much you hated it, people might not be so eager to buy it. No matter how much they loved the first one.
Of course, this author isn’t the only one who’s chosen to complain in a public forum – just last week I read about a Twitter rant from a popular author who basically told her fans not to keep bothering her with stupid questions like when the next book is coming out or reading order or other trivial things. She doesn’t have the time or the inclination to answer them. Even if that’s totally true, the fact that she chose to rant about it rather than just saying, “Sorry I don’t have time to answer these types of questions, but Goodreads is a great resource for those answers,” says so much about what the author thinks of her “stupid” fans.
So, what do you do in a situation like this? I’m choosing to give the author I’ve been referring to another chance and I still bought her book, but I’m not so sure I’ll feel like continuing to support her if her negativity continues. It’s just so sad.
How about you? Does an author’s attitude about their books affect your opinion of them? Would you still be reading this author or would you choose to forget her and move on? I want to know!